The TMF was created by Visa in 1991 as a way to track businesses that had their merchant accounts terminated.

Anyone in the payment processing world has heard of the MATCH list. But what is it, exactly? And how do businesses land on it?

When a business's merchant account is terminated, the reason why is typically recorded in the merchant's file. This information helps other businesses avoid working with merchants that may be high-risk. This information has been aggregated into the file known as the MATCH List (Merchant Alert To Control High-Risk). It is also known as the TMF, or Terminated Merchant File.

The file is maintained by Visa and Mastercard, and contains information on businesses that have been terminated by any acquirer. If a business is on the TMF, it may have difficulty getting approved for a merchant account with another provider because they've demonstrated risky behavior that banks and merchant account providers want to avoid.

So how do you wind up on the MATCH List?

  1. Use profanity in your customer service interactions
  2. Refuse to refund customers for faulty merchandise
  3. Charge customers for services they never received
  4. Engage in bait and switch tactics
  5. Use customer credit card information for unauthorized purchases
  6. Send customers unsolicited commercial emails
  7. Make it difficult for customers to cancel their subscriptions
  8. Hide the terms and conditions of your service in fine print
  9. Fail to deliver on promises made in your advertising
  10. Be rude and unprofessional to your customers

These actions could lead to having your MID (merchant account identification) listed in the TMF. It's important to note that being on the TMF is not necessarily permanent — businesses can be removed from the file after a certain period of time. However, the process for removal can be difficult, and it's often easier to simply find a new merchant account provider.

Frustrated by trying to find a merchant account provider? Or are you tired of your current merchant account provider?

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